Serve-Yourself Beer Taps: the Latest Bar Trend?

Written by Kimberly Peiffer for

Gone are the days of waiting anxiously for your waitress to (finally) reappear to your table to bring you another cold brew.

Welcome to the world of serve-yourself beer taps. At Bull and Bear Bar, an upscale sports bar in Chicago, you can take advantage of the hot-spot’s best asset; pay-by-the-ounce beer taps that come with your table. Designated tables in the bar come equipped with two taps (one domestic and one imported) and a screen that tracks how many ounces you have left.

“Our tap system allows you to regulate and pour your own beer,” says Luke Stoioff, a partner of Twilight Traffic Control, the parent company who owns Bull & Bear, Stone Lotus and others.
Continue reading “Serve-Yourself Beer Taps: the Latest Bar Trend?”

More on Genetically Modified Yeast: A Reader Responds

A mapped human gene

Written by Roger Burns

Hi Ken,

I read your blog referenced in the AHA TechTalk and found it amusing, and informative. The one thing that was not mentioned in detail, although you commented on it, was what *exactly* is GM yeast? Or, more specifically, what are geneticists doing to modify it? That might be some followup information worth researching.

Here are a few things that I would consider “bad” ideas. I, like you stated, am not against or for any science. Science is generally neutral. How it’s used is where the ethics come in. Humanity has a long history of pushing Nature to do our bidding. Sometimes it works out well: domesticated animals; sometimes not: killer bees.
Continue reading “More on Genetically Modified Yeast: A Reader Responds”

Brewer Profile: Tom Vista

Written by Ken Carman

I met Tom Vista: aka; Hop God, aka; Hop Tyrant, a year or two after I joined Music City Brewers, if I remember right. A bit tall, crew cut, slightly large ears and probably the only voice that can compete and win over my admittedly loud stage voice. That was shortly after we joined Music City Brewers. Back then Hop God wasn’t quite a deity yet. Maybe a semi deity. I suppose he didn’t have enough “minions” yet to worship his deity-ness, lick his deity toes, kiss his…

Should I stop there? I suppose I should.

But Tom is so much more than Hop God, but let’s cover our deity bases first.

So my readers may ask, “Hop God has ‘minions?'” After Hop God declared February 28th National Hop Day, which oddly coincides with what some tinfoil hats claim to be his birthday… (After all, aren’t gods eternal?) Hop God also declared…

Continue reading “Brewer Profile: Tom Vista”

Troopers Raid Popular Bars for Unlicensed Beers

Dozens of gallons seized after “citizen complaint.”

Photos: Sarah J. Glover / Staff photographer for Philedephia Daily News.
Leigh Maida (above, left) and Brendan Hartranft, owners of three bars, including Resurrection Ale House, in Grays Ferry (below, left), and Local 44, in West Philly, call LCB raids “McCarthy-like.”


For the Philadelphia Daily News

It was Eliot Ness and the Untouchables, as played by the Keystone Kops.

More than a dozen armed State Police officers conducted simultaneous raids last week on three popular Philadelphia bars known for their wide beer selections. The cops confiscated hundreds of bottles of expensive ales and lagers, now in State Police custody at an undisclosed location.

The alleged offense: Although the bar owners had bought the beer legally from licensed Pennsylvania distributors and had paid all the necessary taxes, the police claimed that nobody had registered the precise names of the beers with the state Liquor Control Board – a process that requires the brewers or their importers to pay a $75 registration fee for each product they want to sell in Pennsylvania.

Want to read more? Click…


Also, another raid…

As I reported on Monday, Duvel is an especially troublesome brand in the midst of all of this because it is clearly registered. It’s just that the brand name on the state’s list of registered brands is “Duvel Beer” and the label actually reads “Duvel Belgian Golden Ale” – a fact that the Daily News stressed in its first report, and which the BLE surely knows.

For further information this similar story…

click here

Club Update: Escambia Bay

Pensacola/Emerald Coast area

Make sure you are checking the calendar on the website once in a while to see all the upcoming events and details for each.

March 18th – Thursday of this week – Brewer’s meeting
March 20th – Saturday 10:00am – Wine Making group to rack wine at Shady Lady
March 27th – Saturday 1:00pm – Abita Brewery Craw-fish Boil
April 10th – Saturday 10:00am – Wine-making group to bottle & taste wine at Shady Lady
April 23rd – Friday 5:00pm – Hot Glass Cold Brew at the Belmont Art Center

Pat Johnson

Just a reminder that this coming Saturday is the big Saint Patty Day shindig at Mark and Chris Robertson’s place. The details are on the web-site’s calendar and we will also be judging a sh—t load of great STOUT beers in the Homebrew Club’s STOUT homebrew competition. I think there will be nearly 50 gallons of various stouts to sample and vote on (People’s choice to determine the winner). So get you green on and don’t plan on drinking a bunch of transparent beers! Also, a reminder, this is an “adults only” party (21 years old or older).

Just roll down the windows when you get close and listen for the Bagpipe Band and the smell of Corned Beef!

Pat Johnson 850-261-9218

Continue reading “Club Update: Escambia Bay”

Competitions and Festivals

Title: Franklin Brewfest
Location Franklin, TN
Description: Beer festival offering 40 different beers and Irish whiskeys
Start Time: 6pm
Date 2010-3-13
End: 9pm

Title: The Blue Bonnet
Location: Amarillo, Texas
Description: BJCP Competition
Start Time: 1:00pm Friday
Date: 2010-03-19
End: Sunday

Brew Biz: Werts and All

By Ken Carman

Ken Carman is a BJCP judge; homebrewer since 1979, club member at Escambia Bay and Music City Homebrewers, who has been interviewing professional brewers all over the east coast for over 10 years.

The Topic: Genetically Modified Yeast

“Maybe they shouldn’t have modified my beer yeast that much?”

I admit: I may need some help regarding this from wiser brewers and judges. Genetic manipulation alone has never been my strong suite. Hey, I graduated college in 1976, and my major certainly wasn’t Science. As a judge, brewer and beer lover I’m always eager to learn more.

My cousin sent me a link to an anti-Monsanto blog that claimed beer yeast was genetically modified. I was immediately suspicious and not because of the Monsanto connection. To say that Monsanto has some rather controversial business practices is like saying, “We breath air.” A generalization and understatement? Duh.

But I’m also not adverse to all genetic manipulation. Intentional, or not, we have been manipulating for centuries at some level: slicing different strains of plants together, morphing Scottish highland dogs into rough collies, growing a whole ecosystem for Avatar. Wait. Please don’t tell me that last one was special effect movie magic. It was? Oh, now I’ll have to go to one of those support groups that help out those who are disappointed there is no Pandora like in Avatar. Sniff. Sniff.

No, I’m not kidding about there being an Avatar support group.

Now, what was I writing about? Oh, beer, that’s right!
Continue reading “Brew Biz: Werts and All”

Home Brewing May Become Legal in Alabama

Dear Brewers,

Alabama homebrewers need your help. Currently, there is a bill before the Alabama House of Representatives
which would finally remove a Prohibition-era restriction and legalize homebrewing in the state of Alabama. This bill was written by, and is being championed by the grass-roots effort of Alabama homebrewers and homebrew clubs. We have no paid lobbyist.

We have made remarkable progress this legislative session: Senate Bill 153, sponsored by Senator Larry Dixon, passed the Senate last month and has been sent to the House. The House Committee on Travel and Tourism held a public hearing of our bill earlier this month and those of us who attended felt the bill was received very favorably.

We’re hearing some rumblings from Montgomery, however, that some of the large wholesalers in the state are not fully behind our effort and that a few may even oppose it. This, of course surprised us, as it makes no sense from a business point of view. We feel they may just not understand the relationship between homebrewers and craft brewers and beer culture in general.

We are asking that you contact the distributors and wholesalers in the state of Alabama that handle your brands and help us educate them on the importance of homebrewers to a healthy craft-beer culture. Emphasize to them that legalized homebrewing in Alabama can only help their bottom line and would not threaten their sales or customers in any way. Politely urge them and their representatives in Montgomery to support SB153.

Please support the homebrewers who support you.

Stott Noble
Vestavia Hills, AL

Home Brewing May Become Legal in Alabama

Written by Patrick Dever for the Auburn Plainsman
Continue reading “Home Brewing May Become Legal in Alabama”